PRIAPISM: THE PAIN OF A PROLONGED ERECTION
APRIL 29, 2019 @ 5.43 PM
Priapism is a persistent and painful medical condition in which the erection in the penis lasts for more than four hours. The erect penis does not return to its flaccid state within this timeframe as in this condition, the erection is not necessarily related to sexual stimulation or excitement.
During this time, the shaft of the penis is rigid and inflexible, but the head of the penis (the glans) is usually soft. The penis is also usually painful or tender.
Dr Poongkodi Nagappan, visiting consultant urologist Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur explained that this condition is caused by several reasons. Among them are medication.
“Some patients may have taken an overdose of an erectile dysfunction medication, so that may be the reason which is very rare. More commonly are anti-hypertensives which can be the cause.”
“Blood related disorders or haematological diseases such as cancers, or sickle cell and trauma – injury to the blood vessel may be the other cause. And sometimes, the reason can be unknown.”
“In early situations where a patient finds that he has got a persistent erection within two to four hours, he can take a cold shower, drink more water to hydrate, walk up and down the staircase to divert the blood supply.”
“If these measures doesn’t help, then it’s best to consult a doctor. Untreated priapism will resolve by itself. However, when there is persistent erection, there is a lot of blood clots and sludge – which causes the corpora cavernosa to become hard," said Poongkodi.
Untreated in the long term, priapism ends up as erectile dysfunction especially after 48 hours and there is not much the doctor can do.
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